Upland – a poem by Edward Alport


Why do you come to the moor?
Where the paths are mere skinny tattoos on the beast’s skin 
Drawn from memory of sweating herds and flocks and swearing men.

Why do you look for silence?
Where the steady breath of the beast heaves in its sleep 
And incurious sheep rip at its hair with vindictive lips?

Why do you grind at its wounds?
Where your cleated boots gash the tattoos on its sleeping flank
And the mud weeps, glistening and red, puddled on its skin.

Would you care for the beast to stir?
It’s many years, and many, so many years more 
Since the moor was ripped from the dry bone bed
And writhed and thrashed and bended and bled
And was tamed by the work and the patterns of men.
You came for the silence.
You came for the blood.
Do you want to wake it again?

Edward Alport is a retired teacher and proud Essex Boy. He occupies his time as a poet, gardener and writer for children. He has had poetry, stories and articles published in a variety of webzines and magazines. He sometimes posts snarky micropoems on Twitter as @cross_mouse.

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